THE ICON: Eddie Baquet Sr.
THE LEGACY: As a 16-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service, Eddie Baquet Sr. already had a good, steady job. But he had an itch for a different kind of service. So, in 1966, he withdrew $5,000 from his postal pension and sold the family home to buy a bar and restaurant at 2119 Law St. in the 7th Ward. He would rename it Eddie’s, and if it felt like home it was for good reason: He, wife Myrtle and their five sons lived in the rear of the restaurant. They all worked there, too, with Myrtle and her mother supplying recipes for the Creole-flavored menu. It quickly gained a national reputation, not just as a place to get an authentic New Orleans meal at a reasonable price, but — along with Chez Helene, Dooky Chase and Buster Holmes — as a reminder of the vital role of African-American traditions in New Orleans’ culinary landscape.
THE ARTIST: Jeremy Paten
THE INSPIRATION: “It was definitely not a popular restaurant when we first opened in 1966. But we set out to emphasize the food, to make it a place where you could get practically anything you wanted at a reasonable price, and after a while it just took off.” — Eddie Baquet Sr., in a 1991 interview with The Times-Picayune